Film(ettes) on Fridays
Just in time for the end of the week, a brief "film" with long on ideas, inspiration, or laughs. Click on each gray image to view the short videos.
Stories of You Inc. © Stories of You Inc. 2017
Regency dresses meet left hooks in this unexpected merging of Jane Austen and Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club.
In this amusing snippet from Irish comedian Dylan Moran, a literary Everyman receives a rejection letter and mystery plot ideas flow as copiously as the wine. The esteemed Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Adichie, recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Best Fiction among other honors, speaks about the importance of hearing not just one but many voices as we try to understand our world. Someone who aspires to sudden literary fame talks with a concerned—well, maybe appalled is a better word—friend in David Kazzie's animated short. Why the computer-generated voices make it funnier is unclear, but they do. Fierce and fiercely talented memoirist Mary Karr talks about memoirs—her own and others'—and their relationship to truth, fiction, privacy, voice and the zeitgeist. And Ignatian spirituality. And the smell of one's mother's house. And more. For why some fellow writers, as well as prominent other folk, admire her work, check out HarperCollins' "Director's Cut" version, which interweaves quotes from her interviews with responses to her.
You might not think that you could learn much about storytelling from a video that begins "I'm a pumpkin. Hello." You would be wrong.
Edgy filmmaker Aaron Yonda turns that starting point into both an award-winning short film and a classic example of the way smart narrative choices can turn even an inert orange ball into story gold. Fair warning: after watching this, you may never carve a pumpkin with insouciance again. Chance, childhood, quantum physics and the sources of creativity come together in this TED talk by Amy Tan, whose book on memoir appears in October 2017. "Good things come from incomprehension" and other wisdom on life, narrative, and creativity from born storyteller and legendary illustrator Maira Kalman. As an aside for writers, her illustrations of Strunk & White's The Elements of Style add whimsy and color (literal and figurative) to a classic grammar guide. It has never been so delicious to learn that you have misused "who" and "whom."
Charles Dodgson, a.k.a. Lewis Carroll, disdained the printing of several editions of his phenomenally popular Alice books. One exceedingly rare copy, marked up in his own hand, vents his complaints.
Do you know who Lothar Meggendorfer was? If you're afraid that new technology is destroying the book, TED speaker and Condé Nast digital channels guru Joe Sabia thinks that maybe you should.